Eliciting attitudes to sustainable transportation with gamification: Research Report Version 1.0

Agnessa Spanellis, Jyoti Mandhani, Claudia Aravena, Samip Dhungel Upadhya

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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Abstract

The report presents the findings of applying a gamified approach to citizen engagement in policy making to facilitate public consultations on sustainable transportation in the Lake District National Park. The workshops trialling the new approach were conducted in two locations: Windemere and Keswick. A total of 33 participants took part in the workshops. The report includes the comments of local residents, small businesses and commuters on the series of policies addressing different aspect of sustainable consultation in the region. The comments were captured during the playout of the game and were analysed using thematic analysis. Complementary to the verbal comments of the participants, the report also presents the analysis of the choices made in favour of given policies throughout the game, which was conducted using choice experiment method.
Looking at the sample statistics, most participants were female, in the age group of 51-65 years, of UK origin, and local residents. About one fourth of participants own business in the park and commute daily for work in the park. Further, car is prominent among all the travel modes used by the participants to get around in the park. Only about one fifth participants travel by public transport in the park. The descriptive analysis results demonstrate that participants in almost all the seven game sessions set ‘Park with fewer cars’, ‘Easy to get around park’ and ‘Park for everyone’ as their priority goals while choosing the policy measures to develop sustainable transportation in the park. Major concerns raised by the participants are excessive car traffic in the park, limited public transport services, expensive public transport and unsafe environment for cyclists and pedestrian.
Participants proposed ‘less parking in the park’ policy measure with park and ride services to be an effective one to tackle car traffic issue in the park under parking-related theme. Almost all participants expressed their disappointment with existing public transport in the Lake District national park, referring to it as too expensive, irregular, less frequent and overcrowded. Rationally, all of them stressed that public transport should be cheaper, more frequent, readily available and more accessible because effective public transport is said to be the only key to develop sustainability and boast economy of any area in the park. Besides the list of predefined policies, participants also proposed new policy measures that need further attention. These suggested policies include ‘review to re-open rail routes’, ‘transport discounts for locals’, and ‘eco-friendly lake transport’.
Further, this report presents policy choice modelling that investigates how degree of impact of policies on each of the six goals influence participants’ choice of policy measure. The modelling results infer that participant prioritised ‘Park for everyone’ goal the most and ‘Easy to get around in the Park’ the least while making the choice on policy measure. Given that ‘Bike repair station and cycle storage’ being the base alternative, the most likely chosen policy measures are ‘Less parking in the park’, ‘Demand responsive transport’, ‘Bike & e-bike hire’, ‘Better cycle routes’, ‘Integrated public transport’, ‘Fun transport for tourists’, ‘Cheaper public transport’, ‘Better walking routes’ and ‘More public transport’. The least likely chosen policy measures are ‘More parking for coaches’ and ‘Cheaper gateway parking’.
We also examine the influence of participants’ demographics such as gender and age on their choice of policy measures in the model. The model results highlight that male participants were more likely to choose ‘demand responsive transport’ than female one. However, they were less likely to choose parking-related policy measures such as, ‘cheaper gateway parking’, ‘seasonal parking charges’, etc., compared to their counterpart. Female participants were more likely to choose ‘better walking routes’ that reflects their concerns about walking infrastructure in the park.
When considering the effect of age group variable on individual’s choice of policy measure, the modelling results infer that the likelihood of choosing ‘more gateway parking’ and ‘better walking routes’ policy measures reduces with individual’s age. Fascinated by the idea of introducing ‘community minibuses’, ‘fun transport in the park’, ‘flexible and group fares’ and ‘2-seater electric vehicles’, middle-aged and elderly people are keener to see these measures being implemented in the park compared with young adults.
The general discussions during the game centred expensive public transport that disadvantages locals and business (difficult to find staff) and excessive car traffic that leads to congestions and chaotic parking. The participants were very well aware of the diverse groups of park users and their needs that need to be accommodated. Some participants expressed environmental concerns, e.g., concerns for wildlife. They were in general supportive of the bike infrastructure related suggestions and other sustainable transport services that would in turn discourage the car use. Stronger policies aimed at discouraging car use sparked debates regarding the impact on the businesses. For instance, while some participants expressed concerns that policies like closing down some areas for cars might reduce the number of visitors, while other suggested that this might attract more visitors. Gateway parking specifically generated a broader discussion around the impact not only on businesses but also different communities, e.g., those in the immediate proximity to the parking.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherHeriot-Watt University
Number of pages44
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • gamification
  • Sustainable transport
  • public consultation

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